The U.S. Labor Department this morning released its monthly employment data, delayed due to the 16-day government shutdown. The data shows the economy added fewer jobs than expected in September, although unemployment improved marginally. A total of 148,000 non-farm payrolls were added last month, below expectations of 180,000 jobs being added. Unemployment declined from 7.3% to 7.2%.
In September, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 4.1 million. These individuals accounted for 36.9% of the unemployed. The number of long-term unemployed has declined by 725,000 over the past year. Over the year, the labor force participation rate has declined by 0.4 percentage point, while the employment- population ratio has changed little. The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was unchanged at 7.9 million in September. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job, states the report.
Immediately following the report the U.S. dollar index softened, which could help to support commodity markets this morning.